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Mazda has delivered the first of thirty hydrogen-fueled vehicles to the HyNor project in Norway this week. HyNor is the Hydrogen Road of Norway project which is working on developing hydrogen-fueled transportation in the Scandinavian country. The RX-8 Hydrogen RE is the first to be used on public roads outside of Japan, where Mazda has been testing them for a number of years. Mazda has focused its hydrogen efforts on the rotary engine, which is better suited to the fuel than piston engines. Like BMW's Hydrogen 7, the RX-8 is dual-fueled vehicle that can run on gasoline when there is no hydrogen available. While BMW is the only carmaker using a liquid hydrogen storage system, Mazda uses compressed hydrogen gas. The rest of the thirty car fleet is likely to include some examples of the Premacy (Mazda5 in the U.S.) RE as well.

[Source: Mazda]

Mazda's Green Hydrogen Rotary Vehicle takes to the Road in Norway

Hiroshima, Japan, 15th October 2008. Mazda Motor Corporation announced today that it has introduced the Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE (Rotary Engine) vehicle to Norway‟s public roads in collaboration with the Hydrogen Road of Norway (HyNor) project, which aims to establish a clean energy transport system based on hydrogen fuel. On-road validation is prelude to delivery of 30 more vehicles that Mazda will lease to HyNor. This is the first time that a Mazda hydrogen rotary vehicle has been put into regular use on public roads outside of Japan.

The RX-8 Hydrogen RE is another example of Mazda‟s „Sustainable Zoom-Zoom‟ strategy of developing technologies that have less of an impact on the environment, and still provide exhilarating driving enjoyment and safety. Mazda is the only carmaker in the world to mass produce the RENESIS rotary engine. Not only does its unique architecture make it better suited to combusting hydrogen than a piston engine, it is relatively easy to convert.

The RX-8 Hydrogen RE is also dual-fuel and allows the driver to switch between petrol when need be, and hydrogen where available, making it an ideal vehicle for use now in those areas in Europe where a hydrogen infrastructure currently exists. During the validation process, the Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE will also be exhibited to potential customers interested in leasing a hydrogen vehicle at environmental and other events.

"Participation in the HyNor project marks our advancement to the next stage," says Akihiro Kashiwagi, Mazda Program Manager in charge of hydrogen RE development. "We are pleased to be a part of the establishment of a society based on hydrogen energy in Norway. Mazda plans to use the wealth of data and experience that will result from this project for the further development of hydrogen vehicles."

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